Running head: School Environment Analysis Essay
School Environment Analysis Essay
Courtney A. Redford
Grand Canyon University: EDA 575-Educational Leadership in a Changing World
Facilitator: Dr. Audrey Donaldson
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Environmental and contextual factors affect my school and community on a daily basis. One of the most apparent issues would be the lack of parental involvement. This element influences both the school climate, as well as the community environment. In my years of teaching, I have found that students, who have parents that are detached from their school life, have difficulty remaining motivated and engaged in their education. ...view middle of the document...
It is also frustrating when I have contacted a parent with an issue or concern regarding their child, and the parent refuses to respond to my effort to communicate. We have an online program that allows parents to communicate with the teacher and become a stakeholder in their child’s education. The problem with this is the majority of the parents fail to utilize the system leaving them oblivious to their child’s educational progression or regression in school. According to (Larocque, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011) the population of our society is becoming increasingly diverse; therefore, the student body in public schools is also becoming increasingly diverse. The demographics at my school are broken down as follows:
• White 14%
• African American 40%
• Hispanic 41%
• Other 5%
• Economically Disadvantaged 71%
• Limited English Proficient 18%
Research shows that there is a disparity between African American, Native American and Hispanic students in comparison to their Caucasian counterparts. With this being noted, we can see why parental involvement is at the forefront of needs. “Given that increased level of parental involvement in schools and in the education of their children is positively correlated with increasing educational achievement, it is important to devise ways to increase parental involvement (Larocque, Kleiman, & Darling, 2011).” As leaders, we have to come up with solutions to the problems we encounter. Addressing language barriers, physical barriers, cultural differences, and emotional barriers are some possible solutions in combating this issue. When assisting families with language barriers, different modes of communication can be used to ensure the family understands and is not intimidated by the language being used by professionals. Communicating with families through email, video conferencing, and parental bulletins are just a few examples of different ways to communicate. Also, having a translator is important to non English speaking families to make sure the topics discussed are understood by all parties involved. Physical barriers cause problems for parent involvement as well. Allowing school transportation to be used for parents to attend school functions can be one way to increase parental involvement. Having a flexible schedule also allows parents to attend parent teacher conferences, school activities, and extracurricular activities. When parents are involved students are motivated to perform in every aspect of their life. When dealing with cultural differences teachers should become knowledgeable about the values and ideals of their students cultural backgrounds. Allowing parents to verbalize what is expected of the teacher and to participate in goal setting for their child is one way to address emotional barriers. Schools should also create a warm environment to give parents a sense of comfort and reassurance.
It can be assumed there is a direct link between the increase in technological advances and...